The camp trunks are back. By now, I’m sure yours are too.
There wasn’t a shot in hell I was letting them in the house, so I left clear instructions that they were to be left OUTSIDE. No matter what.
Not knowing if it would make the unloading process better or worse, I opted to let the two enormous duffle bags hang tight for about a day or two. I knew I’d have to tackle it sooner or later, but I was leaning toward later.
When my Type A “Virgoness” just couldn’t ignore the fact that they were sitting unattended, I decided to pony up and face the task head on. It was time to unload.
I betcha think I’m gonna tell you:
“Ugggh, the trunks were gr-OHHHH-sssss. They were nasty. Filthy. They smelled like something had died inside. The clothes were wet and disgusting. I had to throw everything out.”
You expected me to write that. You did, didn’t you?
Well I’m not gonna lie. They weren’t clean per se, but the trunks really weren’t that bad. Honestly. Don’t you think I’d tell you if it was beyond salvageable?
So let me give it to you straight.
Here’s The Dirty Laundry On The Dirty Laundry…
1. Yes, the trunks were gross, but they weren’t gr-OHHHH-sssss. Does that make sense?
2. None of the crap was soaking wet, but none of the crap was bone dry. Does that make sense?
3. There was definitely a funky smell. Definitely. Without question. I just can’t put my finger on exactly what it smelled like. The weird thing is that the more I smelled it, the more I got used to it. To be clear, that’s not to say I liked what it smelled like, it’s just that my nose became accustomed to the stench. My six year old said the trunks “smelled like Ben’s bunk on the day it rained which was the best day ever because that was the day he didn’t have to take a shower.”
Can you smell what I mean? I know you can smell it!
4. Three different friends texted me the name of the local dry cleaning service that was running a summer camp trunk special. They pick up the dirty trunks. Clean everything. And then deliver it back. I contemplated sending it all out, but then I changed my mind and decided to do it myself. I’m pretty sure I decided to do it myself so I could micro manage exactly what made it home from camp and what got lost in the
shuffle duffle. I kept all my lists strictly for the sake of being able to cross reference!
I did however make one compromise. I sent out all the bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets), the sleeping bag and the heavy Charles River jackets. I was elated to see those Charles River jackets. I would have been pissed if they had gotten lost!
Additionally, once the trunks were emptied, I had them dry cleaned too. Best decision ever.
5. Towels needed at least two cycles in the washing machine. There was no way around it.
6. T-shirts, shorts, sweats, socks, underwear and bathing suits needed at least two cycles in the washing machine. There was no way around it. If your washing machine is still working by now and hasn’t jammed after running seventy-two consecutive loads, you may want to consider adding an additional cycle. What’s one more?
7. Any item of clothing that went to camp the color white came home a shade or two darker. It’s safe to say that beige is now the new white! Specifically baseball pants and socks. I’m fine with that though because it means my kid played ball, had fun and got dirty in the process. It’s totally a casualty of the sport(s) and I’m totally cool with it.
There is one exception to this finding: The six crisp white hand towels packed for the purpose of being used when cleaning one’s body came back in perfect condition. They were even folded exactly the same way as the day they were placed into the trunk. Hmmmmmmmm???!!??
8. Shockingly enough, everything that I didn’t want to come home didn’t. The egg crate, the plastic shower containers, the basketball hoop and the god damn rug that I got suckered into buying! All of it gone. Vanished. Missing in action. I couldn’t be happier.
Remember how I mighta gone slightly overboard with the toiletries? Well, it was probably a big waste but whatever. Hygiene is important. Trust me, I’ll be overpacking toothpaste next summer too!
9. Shockingly enough, everything I did want to come home did! Perhaps it’s beginner’s luck but every single pair of $12.00 NBA socks came back. Every single pair of underpants, pajamas, uniform T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball hats arrived home safely and soundly. The cleats, the shin guards, flip flops, sneakers, a tennis racquet and a baseball glove all returned. Albeit dirty and worn out, but all returned.
I guess at Camp Winadu they Wina-Don’t lose your stuff. Bravo Camp Winadu. I’m seriously impressed.
10. Looking through the hard plastic rectangle box that doubled as a clipboard to use while writing letters was interesting. It was fun to read some of the mail my kid received over the summer. I was pleased to see that the durable clipboard held up and made it home intact. I’ll be sending that back next summer. Apparently I’ll also be sending back the stack of pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes that I found untouched. He was supposed to write to friends and family but I suppose he was too busy having fun. No harm no foul as long as the cost of stamps doesn’t increase by next June!
Note to self: In the future use the Forever stamps!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… Overall, unpacking the camp trunks could have been way worse. I might go out on a limb and say I actually enjoyed it. Okay, maybe enjoyed it is a stretch, but I’ll assume you catch my drift. I’m happy to report that everything is now back in its rightful place. All the uniform clothing is clean, folded neatly and has been re-packed in fresh, oversized Ziploc bags ready for next summer. I found a brand new extra six pack of washcloths that I’ll still pack even though I’m pretty sure they’ll never get used! It’s a miracle my in-house laundromat has finally been converted back to a dining room!
I won’t be holding my breath though because camp trunks or not, no matter how many loads of laundry I do, there’s always a few more piling up just waiting to be done. However, it won’t be today or tomorrow, cuz it’s Labor Day Weekend, and my unpolished laundromat is officially closed for the holiday. Literally!